Twenty years ago, the term “worked shoot” wasn’t commonplace. But, at SuperBrawl VI, an intellectual concoction created by Brian Pillman, Kevin Sullivan, and Eric Bischoff broke kayfabe in front of God and everybody for the sake of shock value.
Let’s go to my review of the match:
Match 5 (“Respect” (i.e. strap/I quit) match): The Taskmaster (w/ Jimmy Hart) versus the “Loose Cannon” Brian Pillman
- First man to say that they respect the other loses.
- After Pillman sprinted toward the ring with the strap, a brawl ensued in the ring.
- A right hand by the Taskmaster didn’t appear to be a worked punch.
- Once Pillman achieved some distance from the Taskmaster, he took the microphone from referee Jimmy Jett and stated “I respect you…BOOKERMAN.”
- Match ended.
Summary: Let’s dissect what just happened. To everyone’s surprise, excluding Sullivan or Pillman, this was a worked shoot. The term “bookerman” had NEVER been used on TV before this show. Only internet smarks and insiders knew that Sullivan was the booker for WCW at this point in time so that comment was aimed at them yet also exposed the truth behind the curtain to everyone simultaneously.
With Pillman’s egregious breach of kayfabe, Eric Bischoff fired him immediately. On the Pillman WWE DVD, Bischoff stated that he wanted Pillman to go to ECW, hone his “Loose Cannon” character, and return to WCW with revenge (and a big push) in mind. As many of you know, that didn’t happen. In fact, Pillman leveraged himself a guaranteed contract with the WWF.
Where did it lead?: Unfortunately, Pillman suffered serious injuries due to an automobile accident involving his Hummer SUV in April of 1996. Since he was not wearing his seat belt, he was thrown from the vehicle with his ankle broken 180° out of place. OUCH!
After numerous surgeries to fuse the ankle in place, Pillman had a short-lived but prominent career in the WWF. His tenure included being a catalyst for elevating Stone Cold Steve Austin, part of the Hart Foundation, his feud with Goldust (including his wearing a dress and XXX files with Marlena), and his involvement in the main event of Canadian Stampede. Not only did it make for great TV but also highlighted what the former high-flyer could do upon being grounded.
Unfortunately, on October 5, 1997, Pillman was found dead in a Budget Tel motel in Bloomington, MN at the age of 35. He is survived by his wife Melanie and five children. RIP Brian Pillman.
What are your thoughts on the worked shoot at SuperBrawl VI and the “Loose Cannon” Brian Pillman?
Also, please be sure to check out all of my reflections at rockstargary.com.